Have you fallen into the trap of focusing too much on your looks and worrying about how others perceive you? Or have you gone the opposite direction, believing that it’s wrong for you to find delight in how you present yourself?
Nicole Caruso, author, mother, and professional makeup artist, spoke of her experience working in the fashion industry, saying that they create beautiful things but their concept of beauty is skewed. There’s this idea that sexy is beautiful, but she argues that God defines beauty much differently.
“That is the beauty of our soul, and the beauty of our virtue, and our pursuit of holiness. And He gives us so many incredible gifts to share with the world; He gives us a mission and purpose,” said Nicole.
She explained that she has worked to find common ground between fashion and faith. Putting your best foot forward and dressing well can be a good thing, but clothes can also lead us toward vanity and materialism. When we find the right balance, we can enjoy beauty without letting it turn into vice.
“If we start to examine our intention in getting dressed every day, examine our intention and our behavior and how we want to put ourselves out into the world, we can really take away the stigma that fashion is only for the unholy, the materialistic, the frivolous. And really show that it can be something very edifying and virtue-driven.”
Our human nature draws us towards beauty. “It’s important to be imaginative; it’s important to let yourself delight in something as long as that beauty is an echo back to our Lord, our Creator,” explained Nicole. It’s only when we let our delight in beauty take away from the beauty of what God has created or distort the entire concept of beauty that we run into trouble.
So let’s do away with the idea that a holy woman who values modesty and humility and virtue must dress in frumpy and unflattering clothing! But at the same time, we Catholics must also fight against the culture’s distorted idea that a woman’s dignity and worth resides only in her physical appearance.
This takes work on a personal level for a woman to embrace who God has made her to be and have confidence in her inward and outward beauty. Once she is able to do that—rejecting comparison or the world’s standards—she can learn to be intentional with her own style without doing it out of pride and vanity. And furthermore, she can build other women up and let them see their own innate beauty as daughters of God.
Nicole encourages women to ask, “Lord, how do you see me?” She also suggests that as you are considering what to wear, you ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Is this practical for my state in life?
- What is my intention in wearing this?
- Does this suit my body?
- Does it bring me delight and lift me up to better serve those around me?
For more on finding your personal style from a faith perspective, listen to more from the interview with Nicole Caruso on Trending with Timmerie:
Tune in to Trending with Timmerie weekdays at 6-7pm CT only on Relevant Radio.